Bank Risk and the Declining Franchise Value of the Banking Systems in the United States and Japan


Howard Lee ; Liliana Rojas-Suárez ; Steven Riess Weisbrod

Publication Date:

June 1, 1992

Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


This paper associates both the increase in risk taken by wholesale banks in the United States and the decline in earnings at wholesale banks in Japan with a reduction in the franchise value of wholesale banking. In contrast with the conventional view that relates the franchise value of banking to informational advantages over other lenders, this paper argues that banks’ franchise value originates in their provision of liquidity and payments services to their customers. Therefore, the decline in corporate demand for bank liquidity is identified as a major factor explaining the fall of the franchise value. The paper also analyzes recent proposals for banking reform and assesses their relevance for dealing with the problems of wholesale banks.


Working Paper No. 1992/045



Publication Date:

June 1, 1992



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